A plan is not a plan unless it includes provisions for the unexpected.

I am not one to throw quotes around, especially those from Mike Tyson, but as the former heavyweight champion once shrewdly commented, “everyone has a plan until they get hit in the mouth.”

And it’s the figurative, unexpected punch in the mouth that typically gets left out of most plans.

Whether making plans at work or at home, you should discuss them with all involved parties.

If it’s only a plan for yourself, well then, it’s still worth bouncing the plan off some part of someone other than their mouth, if only for the valued opinion of a person you respect.

If plans don’t have contingencies built-in for things that might occur in the course of carrying them out, they’re really not plans at all.

For what you are doing in these instances is constantly having either, a) meetings with yourself; or b) the previously mentioned affected parties of the plan.

Either of these meetings is undertaken to introduce courses of corrective action to plans gone sideways.

What’s the plan, Stan?

What a real plan does is take into consideration these scenarios ahead of time.

But how many times do we see in our professional and personal lives plans that do no such thing?

Too often.

The problem is that good plan formulation takes time.

You can’t just come up with a decent plan in a matter of minutes.

That’s why so many of us start things and never finish.

Hardly any of what we do is well thought out.

And it’s no wonder.

We’re busy.

We don’t have much time.

So, we fly by the seat of our pants more often than not.

And sadly, when we do so, we conceal our disappointment in the less-than-expected positive outcomes and move on to the next thing for which we’ll have no plan.

It’s a vicious cycle.

It’s also preventable.

But that prevention takes some attention. Focus. And time.

For me, personally, even when I’ve taken longer to think things through on any given subject or potential course of action I might endeavor to take, I do not regret the time used on such efforts.

After all, even if I’m not as successful as I thought I’d be, I take solace knowing whatever didn’t come out exactly right on the first run, ended up as good as could be expected at the end, all considered, because I had a backup plan.

Backup plans are sometimes referred to as Plan B.

I say why stop at a Plan B? Why not Plan C and Plan D? Or even Plan E or Plan F?

Having a half-dozen plans formulated in advance provides the ability to make the most efficient use of all time during the rollout and carrying out of the objective.

Spending more time thinking, studying and considering all of the potential pitfalls to the plan upfront is tantamount to insurance for the bumps in the road even the best-laid plans will encounter.

Unlike any other form of insurance, however, plan insurance in the form of upfront preparation and contingency courses of action, costs only your time and helps mitigate disaster that might befall you.

Will you wing it or invest in yourself?

I trust it will be the latter.